Nelis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The sea-swept Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland, made up the ancient Dalriadan kingdom, the ancestral home of the Nelis family. Their name comes from the personal name Neil. The Gaelic form Mac Neill translates as son of Neil.
Early Origins of the Nelis family
The surname Nelis was first found in on the islands of Barra, Gigha, Colonsay, and Oronsay. According to traditional records in 1049, Niall, a direct descendent of King Niall of the Nine Hostages, landed in Barra and founded the Clan MacNeill of Barra.
However, another kinsman, some believe to be the younger brother of Niall named Anrothan, married a Princess of the Dalriadans, an ancient race from which sprang most of the early Scottish Kings. Legend has it that Anrothan started the MacNeill house of Colonsay through his son Torquil of Taynish.
This latter branch acquired the lands of Gigha, Colonsay and Oronsay, beyond the Firth of Lorne. For the next two centuries it appears as though these two great houses were developing independently of one another.
Early History of the Nelis family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nelis research. Another 361 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1730, 1370, 1380, 1526, 1562, 1640, 1631, 1640, 1612, 1613, 1686 and are included under the topic Early Nelis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nelis Spelling Variations
Many spelling variations of Nelis have been recorded over the years, including These are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English. MacNeil, MacNeill, MacNeal, MacNeilage, MacNeale, MacNeall, MacNeille, MacNeel, MacNiel, MacGreal, Mcneil, Mcneill, McNeal, Mcneal, Mcneall and many more.
Early Notables of the Nelis family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Nigel M'Nele, Laird of Blarekanne c. 1370-1380; Alexander Makneyll, a notary public in Edinburgh in 1526; Richard Neile (1562-1640) was an English churchman, Archbishop...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nelis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Nelis family to Ireland
Some of the Nelis family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 85 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Nelis migration to the United States +
Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Nelis family emigrate to North America:
Nelis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Pat Nelis, aged 27, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 
- Hugh Nelis, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 
- Joseph Nelis, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1812 
Nelis migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Nelis Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Andrew Nelis, aged 18, who landed in Quebec in 1834
- William Nelis, aged 42, who landed in Quebec in 1834
- Miss. Catherine Nelis, aged 1 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Numa" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 
- Ms. Isabella Nelis, aged 24 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Superior" departing from the port of Londonderry, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in October 1847 
- Mrs. Mary Nelis, aged 35 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Numa" departing from the port of Sligo, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 
Contemporary Notables of the name Nelis (post 1700) +
- Nelis J. Saunders (b. 1923), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives 11th District, 1969-72; Defeated in primary, 1960, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1974 
Related Stories +
The Nelis Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Vincere vel mori
Motto Translation: To conquer or die.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 50)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 18) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html